ALBUQUERQUE — In the heat of the harvest, September 1985, a group of world-famous musicians united their talents under the Farm Aid banner and raised $9 million in relief funds for the American farmer.
This transpired at a time when small farmers across the U.S. were facing the loss of their land to the bank, and Farm Aid helped to keep them alive.
As the pandemic threatens our farmers today, the New Mexico Wine & Grape Growers Association has founded GRAPE AID 2020. This promotion is committed to providing relief to grape growers during the upcoming 2020 Harvest. It’s time to SAVE THE GRAPE!
Grapes have been cultivated in the heart of New Mexico since 1629, making our state the oldest documented grape growing region in the U.S. Sacramental and celebratory vintages have been produced for nearly 400 years. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the natural cycle of this entire agricultural industry and continues to affect small New Mexico farmers.
At the same time, vineyard managers are reporting record crop size with grapes already nearing maturity. Within weeks the entire industry should be mobilizing for the arrival of the 2020 harvest, but the peril of these grapes lie in our ability to mobilize the current vintage. New grapes can’t arrive until the current vintage departs, but with months of forced closures and a ban on wine festivals, many grape farmers are now asking wine drinkers to do their part.
Spanning throughout August and into September, New Mexico Wine is promoting the purchase of discount cases, six-packs, and trios of wine to help wineries sell their latest vintages. These sales will make room in tanks and barrels for the 2020 grape harvest and keep the agricultural traditions of New Mexico winemaking alive and thriving.
Every purchase of wine comes with automatic access to the GRAPE AID 2020 live show set to take place on Saturday, September 12, 2020h. Pickup locations are set up across New Mexico while local and national shipping is being sponsored by VinoShipper, which will provide fulfillment to 44 states.
Finally, this entire campaign will culminate in the biggest online, virtual benefit concert of the year, GRAPE AID 2020, featuring a star-studded, high-energy and multi-dimensional broadcast of performances by New Mexico musicians and bands, interviews with growers and winemakers, wine education, karaoke and lots of virtual toasts to the New Mexico harvest.
National performances will include Elle King, Ozomatli, Eilen Jewell, Roses Pawn Shop, Frank Ray and dozens of other performers from Nashville, Austin and Los Angeles. The lineup of local musicians includes every style of music imaginable, including performances by Michael Martin Murphy, Josh Grider, Bri Bagwell, Alex Maryol, Joe West, Jono Manson, Baracutanga, Carlos Median, Byland and others.
At 6 p.m. MT, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, GRAPE AID 2020 will transition into a live “Drive-In Concert” in partnership with AMP Concerts for GRAPE AID Live featuring New Mexico’s newest singer-songwriter transplant, Elle King. Performing solo, this rare performance by King will be the capstone to GRAPE AID 2020.
New Mexico Wine & Grape Growers Association is a 501c6 statewide non-profit association representing the vineyards, wineries and cider industry. Founded in 1991, the mission of the association is to promote and protect its members and to support the sale of locally grown and produced wine and cider. Proceeds from Grape Aid 2020 will directly support New Mexico farmers by purchasing the excess grapes from the current harvest and contracting with local wineries to produce a “SAVE THE GRAPE” vintage, which will be sold in 2021 to continue our efforts of supporting local agriculture. Additional funds will be used to help purchase grape vines that will allow farmers to replant lost vineyards and build our supply of grapes for the future. Visit www.nmwine.com for more information about New Mexico Wine, and visit www.grapeaid.com to shop for your favorite vintages or to purchase tickets to GRAPE AID 2020.